French Fourch: Bastonnade at The Book Club
Independent French publishing house French Fourch have taken over The Book Club in Shoreditch to showcase the work of artists both well known and unfamiliar. The volume of content is short and sweet. Even with a specially designed wall mural from McBess and Ugo Gattoni, it’s a brief experience, but one that is perfectly seated in this artistic East London hub. Seeing past its modest size, Bastonnade is a compilation both sound and enjoyable that provides insight into the weird and wild worlds of those involved.
There is no real theme as such, but a trend is certainly recognisable. This is a small but comprehensive examination of zine-culture: the naïve, 80s pop and mash-up (i.e. the marriage of different mediums, which feels very similar in its impression to the design work of the Constructivist and Bauhaus movements) crazes that hit the design and illustration industries a few years ago are far from dead. Bastonnade exhibits the skilled print work, assemblage and entertainingly self-indulgent doodling that have dominated bohemian image-making, and made these fields accessible to anyone and everyone. This is feel-good creativity that shrugs off heavy concepts and focuses on expression of the imagination.
The works of Ugo Gattoni, Nicolas Barrome and Daniel Abensour stand out as the more refined prints, but the real fun of the show comes from the individual eccentricity that every single image possesses exclusively – Paul Loubet exudes creative lunacy whilst Vincent Godeau’s work is ordered and controlled. Bastonnade is a celebration of private imaginings and psychedelic invention whose content is united in its expert physical rendering and its accomplished self-stylisation.
The show has so far toured big cities in Europe and will be continuing its journey on to Russia and the USA. For now, whilst we have Frenchfourch on English soil, Bastonnade must be recommended. With visualisations that overflow with hallucinogenic energy and inventiveness, it really is a show to enjoy with a beer in hand and in the company of others: a sociable exhibition and most definitely a solution (should you have been seeking it) to escape banality, and reawaken your own creative mischief.
French Fourch: Bastonnade is at the Book Club until 15th September 2013. For further information visit the exhibition’s website here.
For further information about French Fourch visit here.